Ask any executive, coach, mayor, or entrepreneur about the key to achieving success and one of the first remarks will be something related to teamwork. The same is true when it comes to building our community and making a difference; all good things are a result of collaboration.
Collaboration also happens to be an important trend in philanthropy among donors, volunteers, and nonprofits. Serving on the Memphis Grantmakers Forum and heading up an affinity group for corporations giving back in our city and around the world, we’re now talking often about the projects we’re each funding and how we can work together to strategically make more of an impact. Since each of our dollars are limited, in order to do the most good and to make a difference in a larger social context, we have to not only share information and best practices, but financially invest together, as well.
Similarly, we must find ways to collaborate through volunteerism in order to physically create change. You’ll be seeing more about it soon, but the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club will be partnering with local nonprofit, Volunteer Odyssey, which connects volunteers with their ideal volunteer experiences. Volunteer Odyssey works with numerous nonprofits here in the Mid-South and has a comprehensive Calendar of Volunteer Opportunities, along with the country’s first virtual volunteer fair called Volio. This partnership will bring our teams and audiences together to access an extensive set of volunteer opportunities to benefit everyone in our city.
Collaboration among multiple nonprofits used to be a rare occurrence, but now it’s creating new opportunities as more nonprofits start working together. In his article, “Transitional Philanthropy: Leveraging Innovation to Build Sustainability,” Jeffry Walker discusses how this collaboration is leading to a different form of philanthropy. This “Transitional Philanthropy” is using leveraged funding to support innovative ideas, systems, and technologies for integration into larger social systems. It’s finding innovations from more than one source and applying those innovations to several similar organizations to create sustainable change. It’s also focused on aligned action where like-minded stakeholders are convening to strengthen the community around a social problem and attack its pressure points.
Philanthropy is becoming all about collaboration. So, whether you’re a donor, volunteer, or working with a nonprofit, make sure you’re collaborating with others to make the greatest impact possible.